Preps for Peps

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Photo by: James Schaap

Cam High's Varsity Cheer and Pep Squad took first place in Nationals last month.

Cam High’s pep squad dominated the United Spirit Association’s (USA) Regional Cheer Leading Competition in Chino Hills on  Saturday Dec. 7, 2013. It was the team’s third consecutive year entering the annual competition and clearing its score requirement to move on to Nationals. Their routines received an averaged score of 75 or higher out of 100 prior to any penalties.

Camarillo cheerleaders have been conditioning since the end of the 2012-2013 school year. July 1. marked the start of their sport’s season with four hour morning practices five days a week.

Cam High was represented at Chino Hills by three routines choreographed by Ms. Amy Streicher, cheerleading coach. Two “mixed” stunt pods of five varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders competed in addition to a show routine of almost all of the girls. Striker hopes to put together a co-ed team next year.

“All of us were expecting to do well,” said Jenna Pizzo, a sophomore and this year’s cheer captain. “But we still are really proud of how well we did on top of that [expectation].” Pizzo says she greatly looks forward to Nationals in March.

Competitors are scored by 12 judges who watch the routines in groups of three from all four sides of a gymnasium. Cheerleaders, dancers and gymnasts alike are ushered to the sides of the “stage” immediately before their call times and are escorted off a few seconds after their music ends. This time-conscious method to competition requires routines to be run “back-to-back” in an attempt to be as ahead-of-schedule as possible.

In the meantime, the team keeps in shape and in-sync five days a week during after-school practices. The Cam High cheerleaders can be found in their uniforms on performance days or during practice on the lunch stage, football field or near the bus barn between three and five.